Nicky Tests Software: 2014

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Bug Advocacy Part II

Last Tuesday, I gave my Experience Report on Bug Advocacy at the latest WeTest Auckland Meetup. It was a bit daunting - not that the audience had menacing expressions on their faces or anything, but I tend to do a little freak out before I speak in front of people. Something that I need to work on.

Here is the link to my Prezi.

Below is a reflection on the Bug Advocacy Meetup we had last Tuesday.

A bit of background information about my experience: I've never been on an Agile project. Neither have I been brought into a project early in the SDLC. By the time I've come on to projects, the software has already been built. This meant that some people questioned why I don't just talk to the developer and get the bug fixed? Or why don't I just write it on a post-it note and stick it up on their computer? While I agree that these are great ideas, I've been on projects where things have to be tracked in a Testing tool.

I learned a lot from the discussions that followed my experience report. Namely, how people deal with bugs when they are on 'less traditional' projects. I also found it interesting to see that people seem to be just as passionate about functional bugs as they are about usability bugs; arguing that the usability bugs make the software 'unprofessional'. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Interview with Kim Engel

Kim Engel is a software test manager focused on user experience and fostering communication between stakeholders.
She is a regular attendee of the OZWST peer conference, an avid reader and occasional writer of testing blogs, and an infrequent tweeter @kengel100.
Kim is in the process of overcoming 10+ years of traditional testing experience to adopt a Context Driven approach to Testing.

What was the hardest part about the transition from a traditional Test Manager to a Context Driven Test Manager?

For me the hardest part was actually shifting my own way of thinking.

I'd been frustrated by the ever-growing number of test cases that needed to be maintained and executed. I'd tried various ways of revising my testing approach to align with the V-Model, and seen no major differences in outcome. I'd taken an ISTQB course on Practical Test Management and emerged none the wiser and still had no idea how to address the overall issue of testing becoming an obstacle or hurdle rather than a value-add for the project team.

Yet when the answer was presented to me by Anne-Marie Charrett in the form of context driven testing, I clung to my test cases for a few more months. Looking back now, I didn't want to consider that I'd been wrong for so many years and that someone else had the answer. I'd always thought that I'd come up with the answer myself. Part of being a context driven test manager now is that I'm happy for people to point out that I'm wrong, engage in discussion, and learn from other people's experience. Oddly I still have little patience when others don't embrace new methods immediately and wholeheartedly. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Bug Advocacy Part I

I'm currently working on my presentation on Bug Advocacy for the next WeTest Auckland meetup using Prezi - which is seriously nifty. In the process, I'm learning a helluva lot.

You see, there are a lot of things I do as a Tester but, until now, I haven't stopped to ask myself why.

Communicate Effectively

It's amazing how important it is to communicate effectively in order to advocate for your bugs in the best possible way - whether that be written or verbal.
One of the things I learned from my BBST Experience is that the use of formatting can really help you get a point across. You could:
  • Split it up into paragraphs
  • Use italics
  • Underline subheadings
  • Use bold to highlight important sentences
In addition, being able to drive your point home by talking to someone face to face really helps too. I learned some valuable tips from Wil McLellan at a previous WeTest Auckland meeting.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

BBST Foundations: Is it for me?

This blog post is not a promotion for the BBST Foundations course, but it  may seem like it - considering I'm very happy with how it went. This blog post, however, is an attempt to address any questions, that may be going through your head when considering this course.

Note, these are solely my opinions. Feel free to challenge them where necessary. I'd love to hear where others stand on this.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

My Experience with the Software Testing World Cup

Last Friday evening, two Assurity colleagues and I took part in the Software Testing World Cup

It was tough - we only had three hours to test a system we knew nothing about called Social Text.

We were testing a release that had not gone live yet and were asked something along the lines of "Is this release ready to be deployed?" (well that's what I heard anyway). Based on that, we decided to use the Information Objective Block Premature Product Release. Therefore, throughout testing we were asking ourselves - does this bug impact whether or not we would go live with this product?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

My Fear of Public Speaking

Public Speaking scares me.

It makes me nervous and usually when I think of public speaking, a line from Eminem's song Lose Yourself comes to mind:
His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy

Sweaty palms?
Check. I'm rubbing down the sweat on my jeans.
Weak knees?
Check. I'm widening my stance slightly so I don't topple over.
Heavy arms?
Nope. But 2 out of 3 should prove my point.

Given the fact it's one of the most common phobias out there, I'm sure there are many reasons why people would rather do anything but speak in public.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

3 Ways to Improve your Communication Skills

Last Tuesday I attended a WeTest Auckland Meetup on Effective Communication at Assurity

The Experience Report was given by Wil McLellan, who spoke about how he started up EPIC and how his communication skills enabled him to do so. It was a powerful Experience Report that many people found inspiring. Not only this, but we learned some valuable tips as well on communication.

3 Ways to Improve your Communication Skills

1. WIIFT - What's In It For Them?
A valuable acronym that Wil taught us was WIIFT: What's In It For Them? When you are in a negotiation or are holding a meeting, it is important to ask yourself this question in order to figure out where the other person is coming from?

Ask yourself:
  • Why should they listen to you?
  • What are you offering them, they would benefit from?

2. Build Rapport
If you build rapport with someone, it means they are more open to your ideas. An effective way to do this is through mirroring.

Wil described three ways, through which you can mirror someone:
  1. Body Language - When they lean in and cross their legs, you lean in and cross your legs. When they place their arm on their hip, you place your arm on your hip.
  2. Verbal - Take note of the tone, speed and volume at which they talk, then attempt to match it.
  3. Commonalities - Find things in common with someone. Do they like football? Mention that you currently play as a Striker in your local football club.

3. Aim for a Win-Win Situation
When you negotiating with someone, remember that you want everyone to win. Do what you can to make this happen and steer the conversation in that direction.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

WeTest Auckland: Mobile App Testing

Last Tuesday we had our third WeTest Auckland session on Mobile App Testing. Morris Nye gave his Experience Report on Mobile App Testing, which he does at a startup called Pushpay Ltd.

Here are some of my key takeaways from the Meetup (both from the ER itself and the discussion part).